University receives Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Chemistry at Palace ceremony

At a special ceremony held today at Buckingham Palace, the University was presented with its Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Chemistry

The prestigious award was presented by Her Majesty The Queen and the Duchess of Gloucester to Vice-Chancellor, Professor Tim Jones, Head of the Department of Chemistry, Professor Neil Berry and President of Council, Carmel Booth.

The Prize, which is the highest national honour in the sector, was awarded to the University’s Department of Chemistry for its pioneering research to address global challenges and benefit society. It is the University’s second Queen’s Anniversary Prize.

Professor Tim Jones said: “I am honoured to receive the Queen’s Anniversary Prize in recognition of the work of our Department of Chemistry.  This award is testament to the quality of their research, the strength of their industrial and strategic partnerships and the contribution they make to delivering solutions to some of the greatest challenges of our time.”

Professor Neil Berry said: “I am delighted to accept this award on behalf of the Department, which recognises the hard work and level of excellence achieved by all staff and students, past and present, in both research and teaching.”

The presentation ceremony and prize-winners reception, which took place the night before at London’s Guildhall, was attended by University representatives including early career researchers as well as industry partners.

The University’s Chemistry department has an international reputation for conducting pioneering research to tackle global challenges in critical areas such as low carbon energy, global health and sustainable manufacturing.

It has an outstanding track record for industrial and strategic collaborations and the impact of its research and innovation is felt on a regional, national and global scale.

Professor Wiebe Van Der Hoek, Executive Pro Vice-Chancellor for the University’s Faculty of Science & Engineering, said: “I am thrilled that our Department of Chemistry is receiving this award for its world-class research and innovation and the positive impact this has on society, business and the growth of the economy.

“It is richly deserved and a fitting tribute to the hard work, commitment and amazing achievements of everyone across the department.”

Chemistry was ranked third in the UK for world leading (4*) impact in the last Research Excellence Framework (REF2021) and is the only chemistry department in the UK to be ranked within the top three institutions for impact across the last two REF exercises.

Congratulating the Prize-winners, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said: “The UK has a long and proud history of research, discovery and excellence in education and training. I am delighted that the 2022-2024 winners are continuing that tradition. Thanks to your ingenuity, your dedication, and your hard work we are making real progress in science, transforming public health, growing the economy, and improving and enriching people’s lives.”

This is the University’s second Queen’s Anniversary Prize. In 2017, the Department of Molecular and Clinical Pharmacology was recognised for its work to improve the safety and effectiveness of medicines.

The Queen’s Anniversary Prizes for Higher and Further Education are part of the national Honours system, recognising outstanding work by UK universities and colleges that demonstrates excellence, innovation and well-evidenced benefit for education, the economy and the wider world.

First awarded in 1994, the Prizes are granted every two years by the Sovereign on the advice of the Prime Minister following a rigorous and independent process of review carried out by The Royal Anniversary Trust, an independent charity.